The blobfish is the winner of a public vote giving the fish the unofficial title of the world’s ugliest animal, says a BBC report.
The grumpy-looking, gelatinous fish was announced the winner at the British Science Festival in Newcastle, and will become the official mascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, which came up with the mascot campaign to draw attention to “aesthetically challenged” threatened species.
The blogfish won out over several competitors, which included the huge-nosed proboscis monkey, the pig-nosed turtle, the Titicaca water frog, the kakapo (a parrot), and the axolotl (a salamander).
If you take a look at blobfish pictures, it’s hard to argue with the results of the vote.
Simon Watt, president of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, said the aim is to increase public awareness of the threats facing these weird and wonderful creatures.
He told BBC news, “Our traditional approach to conservation is egotistical. We only protect the animals that we relate to because they’re cute, like pandas.
He added, “If extinction threats are as bad as they seem, then focusing just on very charismatic megafauna is completely missing the point. I have nothing against pandas, but they have their supporters. These species need help.”
Mr Watt also said he hoped the campaign would bring a lighter side to conservation.
“It’s the most depressing type of science to be involved with,” he noted. “It’s basically working out: What died today?”
Mr Watt worked with comedians in this project, and each one created a campaign message on YouTube for their chosen creature. The society then asked the public to vote for their favorite.
The bizarre fish won the contest by nearly 10,000 votes.
The blobfish lives deep underwater off the coast of southeastern Australia and Tasmania, and spends its time “bobbing around” in depths of 600 to 1,200 meters.
Because it feeds on crabs and lobsters, it often gets caught up in fishing nets, though it is inedible itself.
Dr. Carly Waterman, of The Zoological Society of London’s Edge species program, praised the campaign for raising awareness of less “traditionally charismatic animals”.
He told BBC news, “A large proportion of the world’s biodiversity is being overlooked, so flying the flag for these species is a really positive thing.”
See more blobfish pictures here.